Scotsman Fanzone: 3rd January 2017

No matter the gap, Derby games are always fraught with danger. In the nineties I remember us running a financially charged rival close on a few occasions and even beating them. It was like being annoyed by a fly but once the window was open, the annoyance flew away. It made no difference long term.  

 

Saturday was like that. A partisan home support and a half hour where it looked like our unbeaten run was going to come to an end. After we scored the game swung, the score line in the end flattered but we could have rued our numerous missed chances.
A season that started with a defeat overlooking a runway in Gibraltar has seen us reach the halfway point undefeated domestically and competed in the Champions League. After the last few seasons we’re allowed our raucous celebrations.  

Scotland’s Game, Scotland’s Shame

Derby Day

 

Groups scurry into houses before streets awake

clinking bottles, in blue poly bags

hitting legs

denting shins

containing the breakfast of Derby Day.

 

Friends having a sociable drink

allowing the banter to flow

or

wife in the kitchen fearing

as the husband

has started drinking

hoping the result goes the right way?

 

Scotland’s game, Scotland’s shame.

 

Gathering outside shuttered pubs

loitering in bus stops

on shopping precincts (that have seen better days)

awaiting transport to the game

watching cars slow as they go by.

 

Smiles, encouragement and thumbs up

or

windows down

contorted faces

spitting with the venom of a cornered snake?

 

Scotland’s game, Scotland’s shame

 

Stadium sold out

not a seat to be had

a cacophonous noise, greets entering fans

the players are given a gladiatorial welcome

which screams itself hoarse.

 

Songs of support to those on the pitch

celebrating famous victories

or

songs to offend each other

as those ones are always catchier?

 

Scotland’s game, Scotland’s shame

 

The colours as bright

as post shower rainbow

fluttering and waving furiously

held proudly in the hand of the fan.

 

Flags to inspire the teams

displays showing creativity and ingenuity

or

triumphant tribal battle lines

drawn to offend and divide?

 

Scotland’s game, Scotland’s shame

 

Pubs filling up

christmas eve in August,

a boost in the takings

money for the city

strangers entering territories seldom seen

day passes from family and the night is also theirs.

 

Friends greeting each other for a pint

watching the big screen

or

guys staring

working out what school you went to

by the colour of your trainers?

 

Scotland’s game, Scotland’s shame

 

Tv companies showing footage

the joy and despair of football

hopes

dreams

drama

the emotion of the game

creating images that will be watched again and again.

 

Cuddling strangers

after a goal

or

a brother and sister

cuddling upstairs

as Dad wrecks the living room

below?

 

Scotland’s game, Scotland’s shame.

 

Sensationalist headlines

nodus narratives

rivalries revved

familiarised and set in stone

a scaffolding built build up

beamed and printed worldwide.

A colloquialism that sells

with millions of tv eyes

a panacea for the game

or

the media with no regard

to the ruined lives

the broken glass (that they don’t clean up)

print a discovered moral compass

after the blade has ruled the night?

 

Scotland’s game, Scotland’s shame.